A journey for your family
A stay in the Galapagos has to be a highlight for many – a land-based stay makes it easier for a family rather than being in small quarters in a boat, yet there is still SO much to see, do and explore! Stay in style in luxury safari tents, like those that can be found in Africa, kids can enjoy the pool and even see giant tortoises on the camp grounds, and over the 5 nights here head out to explore some of the best wildlife and marine life in the world! Snorkel and swim with marine iguanas, seals, perhaps shark, dolphins and more. Kayak, go fishing, explore lava tunnels and enjoy time on food exploring the area.
A couple of nights in Quito combines in well with time beforehand in the Galapagos and before heading out to the beautiful Cloud Forest. Walk about the cobbled and colourful streets of Quito, visit the Otavalo Markets and meet and interact with local Indians and learn about their traditions, handicrafts, sample local food before then heading out into past the ‘Middle of the World’ (where the latitude is zero), and spending time at Mashpi Lodge.
Your guide will help you plan this part of your stay with various walks and hikes to venture on, waterfalls to explore, the skybike and dragon fly to ride on, and of course the opportunity to see more wildlife – perhaps monkey, snakes, butterflies, birdlife, frogs…the list goes on!
A final night in Quito gives everyone to then rest before the long journey home (or onwards to your next destination!).
All in all this journey allows the family to be as active or for the journey to be as relaxed as you all see fit, while enjoying some amazing experiences!
You will love
- Glamping in the Galapagos
- Old world charm at Hotel del Parque
- Spotting giant tortoises
- Feeding sugar water to hummingbirds
- Riding on the skybike and dragonfly
13 UNFORGETTABLE DAYS
This itinerary provides the perfect framework for a spectacular journey but it is an example only. All journeys will be individually designed and quoted on a case by case basis.
DAY 1 | GUAYAQUIL
Arrive to Guayaquil and check in to your hotel. The afternoon and evening is at leisure and you can explore the historical parklands.
DAY 2 | GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Fly from Guayaquil to Santa Cruz, Galapagos. Take a road transfer and boat crossing to get to your camp for the next 5 nights. After a delicious locally sourced lunch, visit eerie lava tunnels and search for giant tortoises roaming the reserve adjacent to the camp. Before sundown, explore the 50-hectare farm, pick local tropical fruit, harvest cacao and spot local birds.
DAY 3 | GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
After breakfast visit a neighbouring organic coffee plantation to learn about responsible small-scale farming in the Galapagos. Children can pick coffee beans if the season allows. Then drive to the enormous Cerro Mesa crater for a short walk in the wetlands, home to a variety of birds and the occasional bathing tortoise. After lunch, jump on bikes for a downhill ride to Garrapatero Beach where the contrast of mangroves, black lave, white sand and turquoise water is magnificent. Explore the bay in sea kayaks or go for a swim with marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and countless shorebirds. In the evening parents can relax and kids can enjoy a private art class with a local artist.
DAY 4 | GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Early this morning head out on a motor yacht to one of the neighbouring uninhabited islands close to Santa Cruz: North Seymour, Bartolome, Plazas and Santa Fe. Note that this is a shared boat excursion. Enjoy the Galapagos Marine Reserve, among the largest in the world, and snorkelling off the boat.
DAY 5 | GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Head out for an excursion with local fishermen learning local fishing tricks and on a wildlife experience. After fishing, land on a deserted beach and snorkel in a spot known only to locals. Return back to camp in the afternoon and time is free to go for a walk, enjoy the pool and/or relax before dinner.
DAY 6 | GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
After a leisurely breakfast, visit the famous Charles Darwin Research Station and the Tortoise Breeding Centre to learn about conservation efforts and scientific research on the islands. The children will have an up-close experience with the tortoises that are the islands’ namesake and parents can enjoy free time to wander around Puerto Ayora. Your guide can take the children to a local playground or on a tour of the local fish market on the waterfront. After lunch, walk or take a speedboat to Tortuga Bay, a white sandy beach with basking marine iguanas, and shallow turquoise waters teeming with white-tip reef sharks and fish, or you can join a snorkelling boat that will take you to frolic with sea lions.
DAY 7 | QUITO
Enjoy the serene nature and peace of the camp before your departure. Have a swim or enjoy the sunrise, then return to the airport to fly to Quito. Road transfer to your hotel and check into your accommodation. This afternoon head out with your guide for a walking tour of Quito’s city centre.
DAY 8 | QUITO
Head out after breakfast along the Pan American Highway to the famous market of Otavalo. Visit the textile and vegetable markets, then continue to Peguche, a small Indian town just five minutes north of Otavalo. The people of Peguche are famous for their weavings, done in pedal shuttle looms. You can wander around the town and shop for handicrafts as well as wall hangings, scarves, blankets, shawls, woven belts and more. Your guide will take you to a local musicians home where the children can observe the artisans playing their instruments – panflutes, drums, charangos and guitars. Enjoy lunch at an Indian home, prepared traditionally and with the opportunity to taste Andean delicacies. Return back to Quito late afternoon.
DAY 9 | CLOUD FOREST
This morning you are collected and transferred to Mashpi for your 3-night stay. Pass the Middle of the World enroute and note the latitude at zero. The journey takes 3-4 hours, and arrive to check in and for a late lunch. Meet your guides and plan your next few days, this afternoon perhaps for a walk on one of the trails such as the Capuchin Monkey Trail or the Strangler Fig Trail.
DAY 10 | CLOUD FOREST
Enjoy a range of activities with your guide such as visiting The Life Centre to admire small creatures such as butterflies and birds, or head out on more walking trails, ride the dragonfly or the sky bike. This evening you have the option to go out with your guide after dinner for a night safari/walk in search for creatures such as bats, luminescent wildlife, snakes, frogs and more.
DAY 11 | CLOUD FOREST
Enjoy another full day of activities with your guide including more walks and visiting waterfalls with a chance to swim, heading up the observation tower above the canopy to admire birdlife, or to visit the hummingbird garden with hundreds of hummingbirds where children can feed them and admire them drinking sugar water. Once more the opportunity is there to head out for a night-time safari walk after dinner
DAY 12 | QUITO
Rise early and head out with your guide for a final walk in the cloud forest or a final activity, before breakfast. Check out of the lodge late morning and return to Quito, arriving mid-afternoon. Check into your hotel and the afternoon is at leisure to walk about and enjoy the local surrounds
DAY 13 | INFLIGHT OR END OF ARRANGEMENTS
After breakfast, check out of your accommodation and end of arrangements or inflight home
A handpicked selection
Hotel Del Parque – Guayaquil
Housed in a in a lovingly restored 19th century property, Hotel del Parque is characterful yet elegant, nestled in a tropical garden oasis where you will wake each morning to the sounds of parrots and spider monkeys. Enjoy the garden of orchids, tram lines through the grounds and an insight into the area's history. Read More
Galapagos Safari Camp – Santa Cruz
Set on a ridge in the highlands, Galapagos Safari Camp offers a unique wildlife experience inspired by the magic of African safari camps. Guests are accommodated in large canvas tents with beautiful Pacific views from a private balcony. Be on the lookout in camp for giant tortoises which amble through freely! Read More
Mashpi Lodge, Ecuadorian Cloud Forest
Mashpi lodge is a ‘National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World’ in the heart of the Equatorial cloud forest. With countless forest explorations on offer, it is the ideal springboard for discovering the rare species that thrive here, not only those within the realms of our understanding, but also those still being discovered. Read More
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Julia you did a fantastic job - everything was first class. Well organised, efficient and stress free. We all agreed it was the best holiday we've ever had. Cant wait to travel with CSC again.Milford family
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The trip exceeded my expectations and was the best family holiday I have ever had. Our children simply loved it and now I know more about African wildlife than they do about our own farm animals.Rowntree family
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An amazing experience - the best family holiday we have ever had. We were extremely impressed by the meticulous attention to our itinerary. I can't speak highly enough of all the elements of this exciting journey!Sheryl & Robert Taylor
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Everything was perfect! Advice and information on destinations and activities hit everything I had hoped to experience. I contacted the Classic Safari Company upon recommendation and have now, in turn, recommended to others.Tim Bradley
You can't improve on perfection. I had my best birthday and holiday with my family celebrating my 80th birthday in Africa. Everything that Julia organised was perfect and the whole trip was a highlight!Buckingham Family
The trip of a lifetime, couldn't have dreamt of a better adventure if I tried.Emma Jeffcoat
Absolutely everything was first class & so well organised.Simon & Jackie Adams
Classic Safari Company has done it again! A unique experience that ticked all the boxes - wildlife, culture and dining experience. A dream come true!Ros Wheeler
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If you want the most sensational experience in Africa let Julia and the staff at Classic Safari Co plan it for you! Their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for their job means your every wish will be fulfilled.Miriam & Joseph Harrison
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Classic Safari Company were brilliant - 10/10Di & Kingsley Yates
The Classic Safari Company is the best I have dealt with. Extremely knowledgeable & professional, friendly, patient & understanding of first timers to Africa.Annette Whiley
It certainly was the best trip we have EVER had. The experiences were mind blowing. We want everyone we know to experience Africa - the animals, the people - magical.Jo-anne & Dean Mifsud
Would do it all again and not change a moment. Best holiday ever!The McGowan Tribe
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